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Music and the brain

By Bob Bailly

Over the holidays, I was looking for a present for my wife and found myself checking out a pre-Christmas sale at a local department store. During my time at the mall I was bombarded with generic Christmas music everywhere I went. Despite my urge to gag at the arrangements, when I was absorbed in the purer business of shopping, I actually caught myself singing along to several of the tunes.

At a cerebral level, listening to the musical pap made me feel like just another cranky holiday shopper, but deep down it was making me happy. Recognizing that I was being manipulated by these businesses in a subtle way got me once again thinking about the impact music has, or can have, on our behaviour. I’ve also been intrigued by my 21-month-old grandson’s fascination with music and rhythm. These things led me to revisit some research I did a couple of years ago on the affects that music can have on education.

Bottom line, music does help wire the brain, and the potential use in our lives is beyond measure.

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Great articles roundup: Bold predictions, Jordan Satok, wolves in sheep’s clothing, becoming an entrepreneur, Google Analytics

By Leo Valiquette

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are MarketingProfs, TechVibes, Forbes, Inc. and Dan Barker.

What’s next in marketing: 29 bold predictions for 2013

MarketingProfs’ Veronica Maria Jarski makes the rounds to find out what we should expect in 2013. We of course are particularly pleased by the prediction that content marketing will continue to gain prominence this year. However, there is a diversity of ideas in her article and we will leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide which are insightful and visionary or just so much buzz word-ridden bombast.

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A year in the life of bringing technology to market

By Francis Moran

This is a word cloud of the more than 200 blog posts we published here in 2012. In one fell swoop, it graphically illustrates our preoccupations over the past year, the subject matter we returned to time and again as we looked at the unique challenges of bringing technology to market.

Not surprisingly, the most frequently mentioned word — and by a significant margin — in all our content last year was”marketing.” We are, after all, marketing strategists, and we created this blog as a resource where technology companies, both startups and more established ventures, could find solid counsel on how to master this mix of art and science. This will continue to be our main focus this coming year.

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Let me wave my magical content wand

By Tara Hunt

It usually starts something like this:

“Hey! Everyone I know is on Instagram! We should start an Instagram for the company!”

The suggestion in itself isn’t wrong, per se; it’s just not made with much of an understanding of how these social platforms work. It takes less than five minutes to set up an Instagram account (if you have an iPhone or an Android device). That’s the simple part. But then the real work begins.

People who rarely use social networks love platforms … even when they, themselves, admit to not having enough time to use them. That’s pretty much what they see: Platforms and the numbers. “Why aren’t we on Pinterest/Foursquare/Tumblr/Google+/You Tube/Instagram/etc?” they’ll ask. They’ll tell you about all sorts of other companies that have set up multiple accounts on multiple platforms and how they read about it on Mashable. They’ll hint at being concerned about your expertise or ability to execute because you haven’t created accounts everywhere. They may even say, “It takes five minutes to set it up!”

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Making the business case, face to face

This is the 10th article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Leo Valiquette and John Hill

They say the world is more connected than it’s ever been. You can push software to a global audience with the tap of a key, and serve customers worldwide from a desk in your living room.

Of course, the trade-off is that it’s loud out there. You’re immediately competing with the world, and you’ve got to be disciplined, dedicated or clever to be heard. So how do you go about building a market in a new country when you haven’t got millions of dollars to throw at it?

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